“Deffective, proportionate and dissuasive provisions must be included in criminal law to prevent and combat hate crimes, and priority must be given to unmasking, recognizing and recording the hate element of the crime”, reads a statement released after a meeting of the Committee of Ministers.

According to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, Member States must guarantee access to free legal assistance for victims of hate crimes, paying “special attention to children and young people”.

“The element of hate must be incorporated into criminal law as an aggravating circumstance in sentencing, as part of the crime at the time of criminal accusation, as a constituent part of autonomous criminal offenses, or through a combination of these techniques”, he highlights.

For the Council of Europe, police officers must also receive training in recognizing “indicators of prejudice” through mandatory modules at police academies.

“The roles of specialist hate crime investigators in the police and specialist hate crime prosecutors must be developed (…). States must combat impunity and respond to any biased behavior on the part of law enforcement authorities or other criminal justice professionals in relation to people targeted by hate crimes”, he highlights.

The recommendation also focuses on monitoring and data collection by third parties, such as public officials.

“Member States must ensure that educational institutions and teachers contribute to the development of a culture of inclusion and that Internet service providers identify and combat hate crimes”, says the Council of Europe.

The organization adds that the 46 Member States must also promote a safe civic space, in which civil society can operate and ensure adequate support and protection against threats and attacks.

The recommendation comes four days after three attacks and assaults on immigrants occurred in Porto, in the Campo 24 de Agosto area, on Rua do Bonfim and Rua Fernandes Tomás.

According to the PSP, the attacks were carried out by several groups, with five immigrants being taken to the hospital due to their injuries.

Following the attacks, six men were identified and one was arrested for illegal possession of a weapon.

Given the suspicion of the existence of a hate crime, the case began to be investigated by the Judiciary Police.

The Council of Europe was created in 1949 to defend Human Rights, Democracy and the rule of law and currently comprises 46 Member States, including all countries that make up the European Union (EU).

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Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2555789/conselho-da-europa-recomenda-prevencao-e-combate-aos-crimes-de-odio

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